Affection is what I feel for Christopher Buckley, who wrote the unrelentingly brilliant Thank You For Smoking, one of those books you read and re-read when a chuckle is needed. I was glad to spot a copy of Boomsday at the library, and he’s one of those authors whose books I’ll pick up without even bothering to read the blurb on the back — I know it’ll be good.
Boomsday is the point when the Baby Boomers begin to retire, drawing on their Social Security. The United States is in huge amounts of debt and involved in wars that it can’t fund. Our protagonist Cassandra Devine, a young PR hotshot, isn’t happy about it. Her popular weblog that discusses social security reform suggests to her readers that it’s time to take action against the Boomers, who have built up unsustainable debt over their lifetimes and are leaving us Gen X-ers (and beyond) to pick up the bill.
The novel was published in 2007, so Buckley wasn’t exactly seeing too far into the future, but as a satire it hits a wee bit close, doesn’t it? Which is why I think it’s brilliant. As a reader it seems so funny, so implausible, but it’s probably closer to the truth than we want to imagine.